Someone ask me the other day when I would be performing next. These days I can't seem to find the time. With four kids and a schedule that keeps thin soles on my shoes I have to remind myself to breathe.
However, not too long ago I had a visitor in my living room and he came with a head full of problems and unloaded them all on my wife's grand piano. I was fortunate enough to be his harmonica side man for the evening as we played for all of my son's friends that came to hear a special private concert. A concert by one of the most talented musicians I've ever had the privilege of knowing. Mr. Lucky Peterson himself.
Lucky, born Judge Kenneth Peterson, was born on December 13, 1964 in Buffalo, New York. The doctor didn't think that either he or his mother would survive during his birth which is where he gets the name Lucky. And yes, they both survived.
Lucky learned to play the B3 organ as a small boy in his father's nightclub. He was given direction on which notes to play by the strategically placed cigarette butts on certain keys.
By the time he was five years old, he had fully mastered the organ and had caught
the attention of Willie Dixon, the bass player that wrote most of the songs for Muddy
Waters and Howlin' Wolf.
Dixon took the child under his wing and cut his first recording which landed him on The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and What's My Line?. From the book The Blues, Journalist Tony Russell quoted, "he may be the only blues musician to have had national television exposure in short pants."
As a teen, Peterson studied at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts where he played French horn with the school symphony. He would soon leave Buffalo to play guitar and keyboards for Etta James, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Little Milton touring and traveling all over the world.
Lucky has been around the block more times than you can count. Countless albums. Countless gigs. Countless relationships. His musical career has been hard on him but Lucky has maintained a kind and gentle soul unlike the road that's been a troubling place for him for so many years.
He has struggled with the demons of addiction like a lot of musicians but he continues to travel up mountains and through valleys that all of us are faced with on this journey they call life.
I'm proud to call him my friend and would invite each and every one of you to experience one of the most talented blues musicians this world has ever known.
Here's to you Lucky. May your life always be just that. Lucky.